12th House and Marriage
Published in Gochara Spring 2019
The 12th house is often described as the vyaya bhava. Vyaya is defined in Monier Williams Sanskrit Dictionary as ending, expense, outlay, disbursement, extravagance, waste and prodigality. The 12th to any house indicates how the resources of that house will be expended. The 2nd house is total wealth and resources and the 12th to it is the ascendant, the self and we consume what we have. Similarly the 4th house is our happiness and ability to feel content while the planets in the 3rd are usually lead to conflict destroying or reducing contentment. Each house is a link in a chain.
The 12th to the ascendant will show how vitality our intellect will be spent and the 12th to the navamsa will show the release of the physical body. The 12th to the karakamsha (12th from the Atma Karaka in navamsa) will show the liberation of our spirit from the cycle of birth and death.
The planets in 12th house can lend a positive influence on the ascendant and our intellect causing a shubha (auspicious) or ashubha (inauspicious) yoga. The 12th house also signifies the feet of the Kalapurusha (Cosmic Man) and indicates the “gati” or path we are inclined to take. This gati is dependent on our gunas (nature) as well as the circumstances we have to face in our life as per prarabdha karma (definite, destined karma to be faced in this life time, both good and bad). It is from reflection of 12th house that the “gauna pada or upa pada” is derived which is used for the prediction of marriage. The upapada shows who we are ready to walk with in life or who will be a witness to our karma.
Thus the planets in the 12th house affect our intellect, nature and direction and it pays to be aware of them. Krishna in the divine song, Bhagavat Gita advises Arjuna, the warrior prince, that action is better than inaction. Propelled by our vasanas (particular imbedded nature), we are inclined to act in accordance with our individual modes. Even those who are learned carry with them the baggage of the samskaras (tendencies and impressions) of endless past lives, the prarabdha karma of this life, and the individual traits of their minds and intellect. They find it difficult to resist this force of habit as expressed in the phrase in verse 3.28 in Bhagavat Gita “गुणा गुणेषु वर्तन्त (guṇā guṇeṣhu vartanta)”.The literal translation is “Qualities (Gunas) of nature (in the form of senses) remain / move about / get entangled in the qualities of nature (in the form of objects or perception)” Gunas – here in this verse means senses or sense organs and Guneshu (locative) in what we perceive – which are thoughts desires and action. Gunas continuously operates through the sense organs and manifests themselves as thoughts, desire and actions.
सदृशं चेष्टते स्वस्या प्रकृतेर्ज्ञानवानपि |
प्रकृतिं यान्ति भूतानि निग्रह किं करिष्यति || 3.33||
sadṛiśhaṁ cheṣhṭate svasyāḥ prakṛiter jñānavān api
prakṛitiṁ yānti bhūtāni nigrahaḥ kiṁ kariṣhyati
Even wise people act according to their natures, for all living beings are propelled by their natural tendencies. What will one gain by repression?
The 12th house deals with past life issues that we have to settle now, issues we are not fully aware of in our conscious mind. They are indeed debts from past life as the 8th house is the 9th from the 12th house. The dharma of any house lies in the 9th from it and planets in the 12th house show our debts to those people and objects represented by them. When these past life issues manifest, it is very important to be aware of the nature of these planets to steer properly in life.
The Concept of Neṣṭṛ
Certain planets in the 12th house will act as the “neṣṭā graha” – planets who act like the priest that leads one to the altar. Sun, Moon, Venus and Rahu are neṣṭā (Nominative singular for neṣṭṛ) planets interested in getting you married and will continuously bring partners in your life at the same time promote a spiritual path, whereas Mars, Saturn, Mercury and Ketu will end up disturbing the marriage or conjugal pleasures. Ketu is spiritual but causes isolation or separation and is usually is pacified when there is a child. Jupiter is supportive of marriages except the proposal brought by Rahu that usually brings in foreign elements against known or accepted culture.
The planets in the 12th house indicate the external influences in our life that can lead to formation of habits. This house shows the nature of the partner one is likely to get attracted to. The 12th house contain our secret addictions. For instance, when the Brahmin planets Venus and Jupiter are in the 12th then one prefers an educated partner with a good family background. Venus is idealistic and will demand purity in relationships. When Kshatriya planets Sun and Mars are in the 12th then one is attracted to partners with high status who are courageous and adventurous. Sun will also promote spirituality. Business or Vaishya guna planets Moon and Mercury will promote partners who are wealthy or in trade. Saturn belongs to the service class, and hence it can be said that when Saturn is in the 12th one might be attracted to a person of a lower status, or who is melancholic or has an addiction to substances. Both the nodes promote spirituality, however Rahu being a neṣṭā promotes partners who are foreign, from across a border, widowed or divorced and eventually leads to a spiritual path whereas Ketu will cause separation unless there is a child. One has to look at the planet and sign in conjunction before making a judgement.
The 12th lord will also have a say in who your partner is. Generally speaking, the neṣṭā planet can give marriage if it is not inimical to the 12th Lord. One usually gets married in the antrar dasha of the planet in the 12th house or the 12th lord itself.
We should also check the navamsa placement of these neṣṭā planets to see whether they are conducive to sustaining relationships. Placements in the 6th, 8th and 12th are not very supportive of sustaining relationships. A neṣṭā planet placed in the 4th can be qualified as a khara, causing unexpected danger and health issues especially if it is a malefic. Further, the lordship of the planets in the 12th should be taken into account to see the reason for which the relationship is primarily taking place. If the 5th lord is in the 12th, there is a karma towards a child, if this planet leads to a relationship or marriage.
Eight Kinds of Marriage
The institution of marriage is a cultural acceptance of a couple’s cohabitation by the society and gives protection to their children, the practices vary in different parts of the world. In ancient times in India the marriages were broadly classified into 8 types – brahma, daiva, arsah, prajaptaya, gandharva, rakshasa and pisascha. Manu Smriti mentions them in the following verse –
ब्रह्मो दैवस्ततैवर्षः प्रजपत्यस्ततः असुरः गन्धर्वो राक्षसश्चैव पैसावसदमःस्मृतः
brahmo daivastataivarṣaḥ prajapatyastataḥ asuraḥgandharvo rākṣasaścaiva paisāvasadamaḥ smṛtaḥBrahmo-daivastathaivarsah prajapatya-statha’surahGandharvo raksasascaiva Paisavastamah smrtah
The late Kanchi Seer Chandrasekhara Sarasvati of Kamakoti Peeth, mentions the different types of marriages giving detailed description of them in his book Hindu Dharma. The table below summarises the main points from his book.
|Jupiter||Brahma||Groom seeks bride due to her family, skill and abilities at a young age.|
|Mars||Daiva||The parents of the bride unable to find a suitable groom for their daughter seek a priest at the yajna.|
|Moon||Arsa||The parents of the bride marry the daughter to an old seer in exchange for two cows.|
|Sun||Prajapatya||Bride’s parents look for a groom as she approaches puberty and kanyadan is given (sthree dhana)|
|Mercury||Asura||Money is the main component. The bride is married off to a rich man in return for a settlement. Many rich men took second wives in this way.|
|Venus||Gandharva||Marriage of Love, Common Law marriage|
|Saturn||Rakshasa||The groom battles with the bride’s family and takes her by force, but she is willing|
|Rahu||Paisascha||The bride is seized against her wishes and her family is antagonised.|
Most marriages were of the first and third types. Asuric marriages were mainly used to procure additional wives by rich men. However the last two types of marriage rakshasha and paisascha did not get acceptance, but they were recognised for the protection of the children resulting from such instances.
As any planet in the 12th can bring a relationship or a marriage, it is worth noting the motives and circumstances behind relationships in the context of the eight types of marriages.
Diana, Princess of Wales, 1/7/1961, Sandringham UK 13.29hrs
The chart of Princess Diana has two planets in the 12th house in Leo – Mars and Rahu. Mars in Leo indicates natural attraction towards persons of high status attributed to royalty and sportsmen. It is also the 3rd lord of rashi chart placed in the navamsa lagna showing a preference for that type of partner. Mars is also the upapada and the 8th lord responsible for the longevity of her marriage. Rahu as the neṣṭā will bring foreign partners and they are not likely to be suitable as Rahu is placed in the 12th house in navamsa, which shows death.
The sign Leo is royal and the ruler Sun is in Digbala (indicating Indra, the King of Heavens) in the 10th with Mercury in Nipuna Yoga. In a female horoscope the planets in the 10th influence the choice for a spouse and Sun being the 12th lord gave marriage. She got married in the antar dasha of Sun in Rahu maha dasha to Prince Charles of the United Kingdom. She was first noticed by Prince Charles while he was playing polo. As Sun gives a “prajapatya vivaha” the purpose of marriage can be inferred as children and lineage. Venus in the 9th promises destiny after marriage after the 19th birthday. She was engaged after her 19th year and married just after her 20th birthday.
When the 12th lord is placed in the 9th house in navamsa one is supposed to have great riches and destiny which she did. Unfortunately, Sun is also in Aquarius navamsa conjunct Saturn in a pitri dosha (debt towards ancestors). Planets in Aquarius in navasma show what we lose and all our painful experiences. Princess Diana experienced a lot of misery and isolation in the marriage that eventually ended in a divorce.
The combination of the two tamasic planets Rahu and Mars in the 12th house caused considerable havoc in her personal life. The negative
nature of these planets contributed in her experiencing paranoia, eating and sleeping disorders, depression and constant anxiety in her many affairs and marriage. Mars in the 12th is destructive. It leads to quarrels, sometimes violence and forced celibacy in the marriage or extra marital relationships. Rahu is the greatest enemy of Sun wanting to eclipse it and Princess Diana had many foreign suitors. One of those partners brought by Rahu eventually caused her death. Rahu is in the 12th house in the navamsa.
This excessive activity of strong neṣṭā grahas can be controlled by an aspect of any other neṣṭā graha (in this case Sun, Venus or Moon) or the great benefic Jupiter. Moon, the Atma Karaka has an aspect on Leo but could not battle the combination of Mars and Rahu. A strong 7th lord can help too as it represents our internal strength or attitude towards a relationship. Her 7th Lord Jupiter is debilitated and conjunct Saturn the co-lord of the 6th house and therefore unable to save her marriage or sustain any relationship.
Jennifer Anniston – Actress (11/2/1969 – Los Angeles CA 22.22hrs)
Jennifer Anniston has a retrograde Jupiter and Ketu in the 12th house in Virgo. Jupiter is a Brahmin planet; therefore her preference will be for an educated man, mentor, someone with a responsible outlook in life. Virgo also indicates a preference of purity in relationships. Jupiter is placed well in the 7th house in the navamsa, promising such a spouse. A retrograde Jupiter indicates that she might have to fight hard to sustain the relationship or that there will be a lot of separations and reconciliations. The other planet Ketu is not very favourable to marriage and will cause separation, mistake or shocks. This Jupiter could also break the kala sarpa yoga (all planets hemmed between the nodes) as the ruler of one of the nodes. The nodes Rahu and Ketu are in an exchange resulting in all planets in the 6/12 axis along with the ruler of the 12th house in a position to bring a marriage during their respective antara dasha.
Her first major relationship was with an actor Tate Donovon which lasted for two years. She was running the antar dasha of Ketu and maha dasha of Venus. Ketu is placed in the 6th house in navamsa which is not fortunate and it was just a mistake. She met Brad Pitt in 1998 in her 32nd year (when Jupiter matures) during the Jupiter antara of Sun maha dasha. Jupiter brought this marriage and is akin to a “brahma vivaha” where a couple come together due to their mutual skills and abilities. The 7th house navamsa placement was realised. However, the 12th house Virgo is co-owned by Mercury and Rahu, both really not true friends of Jupiter and are placed in the 6/12 axis of the navamsa. This marriage ended after 7 years.
She met Justin Theroux in 2011 in the antara of Venus in Moon maha dasha and married him in 2015 in the antara dasha of Mercury and Mars maha dasha. This resulted in a divorce in 2 years after being together for total of 7 years. Venus is in the 2nd house in the navamsa indicating that it is the 2nd significant relationship or marriage.
Both her relationships lasted for seven years indicating that Ketu is very active in the 12th house. The best remedy for Ketu is having a child as Ketu promotes a marriage if there is a child. Although Brad Pitt’s much publicised affair with Angelina Jolie resulted in the break-down of the first marriage, it is worth noting that he accused Jennifer Anniston of making her career more important than starting a family. Since a retrograde Jupiter gave the marriage with Brad Pitt, it is possible to expect a reconciliation with him.
Jeff Bridges – Actor, Singer, Producer (4/12/1949 Los Angeles CA, 23.58 hrs)
There is no planet in the 12th house. The lord of the 12th house Moon is exalted and vargottama in the 7th house in the navamsa promising a great love and marriage. It also aspects the 12th house in the rashi chart by rashi drishti. In Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra it is said that when the 12th lord is Moon and it is exalted, “the native will enjoy beautiful houses, beds and superior scented articles. He is destined to be gifted with riches, is learned and lordly”.
Jeff Bridge’s ideals are high and noble due to the exaltation of the 12th lord and the 12th house being Cancer a Brahmin sign. He met his current wife Susan Geston in 1975 when in a restaurant, where she was a waitress working part time to pay her college fees. He was running the antara of Venus and Rahu maha dasha. Venus has an aspect to the 12th house and placed in the 4th house in navamsa. A benefic planet in the 4th does not act as a khara. He married her in 1977 when he was running Rahu Moon. Venus promises a “gandharva vivaha” – a marriage based on love and attraction. He is known to have said recently “Iknew I was madly in love with my wife the minute I saw her” and he has been married to her for 41 years. He also practises meditation and is a Buddhist.
OJ Simpson – Sports Person -Footballer (9/7/1947 San Francisco, CA 8.08hrs)
OJ Simpson has two planets in the 12th house in Cancer – Saturn and a combust Mercury. Both are not conducive to promoting or sustaining relationships. Saturn will bring coldness, melancholy and addiction in relationships. Saturn is the 7th lord of relationship and Mercury is the 2nd lord of family and finances. The lord of 12th house Moon is in marana placement in the 8th house. Mercury and Moon are in 4th house in the navamsa, so they become khara (can cause unexpected danger and illness). Benefic planets are not khara usually, however Mercury is in marana in the 4th house making it a khara. Saturn is placed in the 8th house in the navamsa. There are no positive placements.
His famous marriage to Nicole Brown completely ruined him. He met her in 1977 when he was already married to Marguerite L. Whitley in the antar dasha of Moon (12th lord) of Jupiter Maha dasha (using Adhana Vimshottari). He married her in 1985 when he was in Mercury antara of Saturn maha dasha. Moon and Mercury are khara in the Navamsa. The 7th house is flanked by malefic planets Ketu and Saturn and malefic planets in the 8th and 12th house in a Navamsa can indicate that the spouse will suffer abuse or even death. Saturn in the 8th house has the aspect of Mars and Rahu from the 12th. It is a well-known fact that Nicole Brown faced abuse in the marriage. It ended after 7 years but due to the retrograde nature of Mercury, there were several attempts at reconciliation. One such reconciliation attempt led to her death in 1994 in Saturn maha dasha Moon antara. Following trials various judgements led to a complete ruin of OJ Simpson both in terms of reputation and finances.
The chart does not promise a healthy marriage due to the affliction of 12th house, the 12th lord and the 7th lord. Saturn in the 12th requires that an individual seek a spiritual path and lead an austere life.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – Guru (12/1/1917, Jabalpur, India 8.00 hrs)
There are three neṣṭā planets in the 12th house – Sun, Rahu and Venus in the sign of Sagittarius. Sun is vargottama and is the strongest planet who is also the Atma Karaka. A strong Sun can destroy the rajas guna of Venus or passionate activity. Sun is also ill placed for material affairs in the 8th house in the navamsa with the other neṣṭā planet Rahu. Venus, the third neṣṭā planet placed in the 12th in the navamsa with no promise of marriage. The 7th lord of the rashi chart is Moon is also in the place of marana in the 8th house.
Sun is also the upapada lord and shows the path. Sun in the 12th from lagna promotes renunciation and one has to look for a spiritual marriage. However as a strong Atma Karaka in the 12th it will lead you to take the ultimate path and he met his Guru Brahmananda Sarasvathi, the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Matt. He took his vows of celibacy and renounced in Sun antara dasha of Ketu maha dasha (Adhana Vimshottari) at the age of 24.
As illustrated above, the ultimate gati should be of liberation from the cycle of birth and death, therefore one should be very mindful of the path we take and who we walk with. We can only get liberation when we are finished with our duties and promises and have reduced our desires consciously to very legitimate ones. The objective is to minimise the agami karma (new karma accumulated due our agitations and unfulfilled expectations) and to do our daily activities with a spirit of renunciation. This is the essence of the 12th house.
ॐ तत् सत्